20.5% wage hike in 1st year on table in tentative Borgess-Ascension deal

Members of the Michigan Nurses Association at Ascension Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo have reached a tentative agreement with hospital management.

The agreement, announced Dec. 9, comes after nurses had previously given their bargaining team the ability to call a strike.

"By standing together, we sent a clear message to Ascension that a strong contract that protects patients by recruiting and retaining nurses is vital to our community," Lori Batzloff, RN, a nurse at Ascension Borgess and president of the local bargaining unit of the Michigan Nurses Association, said in a union news release. "Now it's time for the membership to review the tentative agreement. I plan to vote in favor of the deal and encourage other nurses to do the same."

According to the union, the agreement includes:

  • Average raises of 20.5 percent in the first year of the contract.
  • An additional emergency personal day for nurses.       
  • Increasing shift differentials for evening and night shift nurses by $1 per hour, as well as increasing on-call pay to $5 per hour.

The Michigan Nurses Association said nurses will vote on whether to approve the tentative deal Dec. 14, and no additional details will be released until after the vote.

In a statement shared with Becker's, Ascension said, "We are grateful to both bargaining teams for working diligently to reach this mutually beneficial agreement. Out of respect for the ratification process — and allowing Michigan Nurses Association leadership the opportunity to present to their members the tentative agreement they negotiated and accepted — we will not elaborate on the specifics."

The new tentative agreement, if made final, would cover about 300 Ascension Borgess nurses.

The Michigan Nurses Association represents about 13,000 nurses and healthcare professionals in Michigan. Ascension Borgess is part of Ascension, a nonprofit system based in St. Louis. 

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